JEFFERSON CITY, Mo – The objectives of The Freedom of Road Riders have evolved since the group’s inception.
The organization was created because the founder did not want to be forced to wear a helmet. This is still an issue for The Freedom of the Road Riders, they currently support a helmet modification bill.
Counterintuitive to this previously mentioned aim, the group is concerned with safety.
“You can say that seatbelts save lives; you can argue that helmets save lives but educa- tion saves lives,” FORR state chairman Bill Duncan said.
FORR promotes 11 motorcycle safety courses each year. Almost 70 percent of motorcycle accidents involve just one vehicle.
“For a motorcyclist there are so many more hazards,” Duncan said. “That groove in the road that you don’t feel in your car can flip a motorcycle.”
It’s important to teach even grizzled riders new and safer techniques on the road.
“There are so many things that we learn that are taught and retaught,” Duncan said. “Motorcyclists don’t’ realize how much they forget.”
A focus on safety has influenced FORR legislative pursuits. The top bills the association is currently inter- ested in are SB 696 and HB 1149, equivalent bills that would increase the penalties for drivers who commit left- turn right of way infractions. Duncan said failure to yield on left turns is the number one cause of accidents in the country and is especially dangerous for motorcyclists.
FORR employs Bill Kempker as its legislative coordinator, who works in Jefferson City. FORR represents 2,500 riders in 31 chapters around the state. Local chapters, 13 and 24, have a hospitality suite at Missouri Democrat Days.
“We fight for motorcycle rights, for safety and awareness,” Duncan said.